Pausing your screen
4 tips to unplug as a family
September 26, 2022
Here are a few tips to help you unplug as a family for the 24h PAUSE event or at any other time during the year. Whether it’s for a whole day or just a few hours, it always feels good to put your screens on pause to reconnect as a family, so enjoy it!
1. Talk about it together
Before D-day, hold a family meeting to talk about your reasons for wanting to go screen-free for 24 hours. Go around the table to get everyone’s thoughts and questions. Together, think about what you could do to avoid the temptation of using your phones or tablets for 24 hours. Then, come up with some activities to do during the day and let each family member choose one.
2. Plan tech-free activities
Even if we tend to forget it, there are tons of screen-free activities. (Yes, families managed to have fun even before the arrival of technology!) Here is a list for inspiration:
Play soccer, football, volleyball, frisbee, or other outdoor games (Spikeball, lawn bowling, Molkky, lawn darts) to enjoy time outside as a family, in the backyard, the schoolyard, or at the neighbourhood park.
Listen to music
Replace the sound of notifications with the radio, a CD player or a record player. Share the classics from your younger days with your kids. Listen to your youngest’s favourite songs and those of your teen. And while you’re at it, why not sing, dance or play music as a family?
Plan relaxation exercises to rest and unwind. Practice yoga as a family, do a sun salutation and tree, sphinx and chair pose… find your Zen!
Cook as a family
Prepare a recipe from a book or magazine or make a family classic. Keep the fun going by setting a beautiful table to enjoy a meal together… screen-free obviously!
If spring cleaning doesn’t speak to you (we don’t blame you!), reorganize the living room or your child’s bedroom by moving furniture and accessories around. An easy, inexpensive way to change your decor!
Get moving outside
Go for a walk as a family, play at the park, or take advantage of the infrastructure in your municipality (soccer fields, basketball or tennis courts, etc.). More outdoorsy families can organize a hike or a bike ride. If the weather permits, why not plan a picnic?
To prevent your children from missing their video games, take out a deck of cards, puzzles, or board games. Tip: some municipal libraries let you borrow games.
Take out the pencils
Take out paper and pencils and settle in to write, compose, or draw. You can also print copies of the PAUSE colouring page in advance to colour as a family.
Do some DIY
Do you have an environmental and creative streak? You could spend part of the day giving new life to some old furniture, flower pots, or painting old frames.
It’s spring! Encourage your child to garden with you. Prepare your vegetable patch or pots, or plant flowers that will brighten up your balcony or yard. And while your hands are dirty, might as well repot your houseplants.
Unplugging is not a competition or a contest! It’s up to each family to choose activities adapted to their reality. Remember that it’s also an opportunity to simply slow down and relax as a family.
3. Let your friends and family know
Tell your friends and family on Facebook that you’re participating in a 24-hour unplugging challenge and that you won’t be reachable on May 22 (unless it’s an emergency, and in that case, to call you). You can also take the opportunity to invite them to participate!
4. Adjust your devices
Even when you plan activities that don’t require a connection, technology manages to insert itself, robbing you of free time to unplug, reduce your stress, and share moments with the people around you.
The day before or the day of the 24h event, adjust the settings on your devices to avoid temptation as much as possible.
- If you have an alarm clock, this is the time to use it to check the time. If not, turn on airplane mode on your phone for the night.
- Turn off all your devices (TVs, tablets, computers, phones). You can even put some of them away in a drawer or a cupboard. Out of sight, out of mind!
- If you need to keep your cell phone on to receive calls, turn off non-essential audio and visual notifications, and temporarily uninstall the apps you have trouble resisting.
24h PAUSE – Family edition is a campaign by Capsana in partnership with the Government of Quebec.